Not living within easy access of incredible world cuisine is a common complaint of those who flee urban locales. Living near incredible world cuisine in NYC sometimes gives me epic FOMO, watching people visit and share photos and stories from places around the corner from me. Can one eat out and want for nothing in a big city? Yes, but that person must also have the cash flow to pay for constant dining out.
Legendary Xian Famous Foods in my city is one of those places that pops up in my feed on the daily, and it’s both world class and affordable. Plate after plate of uncomplicated Chinese flavors shock your palette back into shape if you’ve been out of the pungent loop for awhile. Mission Chinese is another neighborhood staple that people are constantly putting on the gram, with intense Sichuan and eclectic flavors coming together to make food magic, it’s spicy enough to make you giddy, and when I eat there I’m always pumping with adrenaline.
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They both have one incredible dish in common: Tiger Salad, the catch-all term for salads that use herbs as the main greenery, and it’s a real treat. Though I don’t think I’ll ever make a salad as good as the squad at Xian or Danny Bowien’s kitchen of dreams, I know I can reach for a pile of affordable herbs at the local shop and whip up something that reminds me of it. Putting my own twist on it with a cannabis infused soy-sesame vinaigrette turns it into party/study/Netflix/healing fuel, however you use cannabis in your life.
Strong and Pungent Cannabis Tiger Salad
Inspired by Xian Famous Foods + Mission Chinese Food
Serves 2, 17mg THC estimated
- 4 stalks Chinese celery
- 1 bundle cilantro
- 4 basil leaves
- 2 scallions
- 1 birds eye chili
- 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp superior soy sauce
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 1 Tbs cannabis infused olive oil*
- Fried shallot
- Black sesame seeds
Wash all of your veggies really well, celery and cilantro in particular can be gritty, so get in there good and let them dry. Remove the tops and root bulb from the celery stalks and chop into 1½” pieces. Put in a large bowl with room to toss.
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With cilantro, you’ll do the opposite, removing most of the tougher stems. Leave the tender stems behind, they will be yummy in the mix. Instead of finely chopping cilantro like most applications, give it a rough chop so the leaves aren’t whole but also aren’t in small pieces. Do the same with the basil. Finely chop the scallion and add half to the bowl, reserve half for garnish. Chop the chili last, keep the seeds if you want them, but chop the pepper finely so it is evenly distributed through the salad.
Mix up your vinaigrette in a bowl, giving it a good whip with a fork to make a loose emulsion. This will mix everything well enough to coat the veggies just right. Add to the bowl with your greens and toss thoroughly. Serve in a bowl topped with more scallions, fried shallots, and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
*Cannabis infused oil
Decarboxylate 3.5g of finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees for 20 minutes in a tightly sealed, oven safe container. Put in lidded mason jar or vacuum sealed bag with cannabis and four ounces of olive oil. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill to use in recipes.
Even if you can’t always make it to the exciting and renowned shops and sit downs of your nearest magnet city, you can whip this up at home and have a small taste of something either familiar to you or new altogether. Either way, you’ll be making this salad to accompany noodles and stir fry regularly.
Photos: Maria Penaloza
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